Janesville, Wis. Wm. M. Doty and Brothers, Printers, 1856. Item #434
8vo. 220 x 150 mm., (8 ¾ x 5 ¾ inches). [xii], 350 pp. Illustrated with four full-page woodcuts and one advertisement, all printed on colored paper stock. Publisher’s brown cloth, gilt title and symbol of plow and wheat on spine, boards decorated in blind; head and tail of spine frayed, paper stock light aged brown; sound and attractive copy.
First edition. Published eight years after Wisconsin was admitted to the Union, this history of Rock County begins with a general description of the state, its constitution, educational system, population, and a discussion of its agricultural economy, geology, and mineral deposits. It continues with a detail study of the numerous counties in the state, with a focus on the farmers who contributed to the economy of each. This includes descriptions of the natural resources that impact on the farms, saw mills, woolen mills, iron works, marble works, etc., that have developed in Wisconsin. There is also information on the development of the towns around these industries and the various public institutions that have been funded by local taxes. The second part of the book is an history of the Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics’ Institute, with a focus on farming and animal husbandry in the county.
The book is illustrated with four woodcuts printed by G. Frauenberger, including images of the building for the Blind in Janesville, the Janesville Iron Works, a woodcut portrait of J. P. Wheeler designed by T. Ganz, and image of the horse Hambletonian owned by R. M. Wheeler. The final plate is an advertisement for the People’s Book and Shoe Store and the Newland & Merwin Hat Company, both in Janesville.
Janesville is in south central Wisconsin just north of the Illinois border. It is equidistance from Racine, Milwaukee to the east and Dubuque in the west and situated in the bread basket of the state.